World politics of a space without territory

The Internet is increasingly becoming a political place in the World whose governance is therefore changed. In fact, classical political governance mechanisms appears to be overwhelmed by the emergence of this new space and its growing impact on the redefinition of global politics. For instance, numerous conflicts of intellectual property have lead States to the proposal of national laws that triggered strong controversies. These events substantiate the idea that the traditional political governance frame of States, based on territorial sovereignty, is weakened by the Internet's arealess topological space, whose spatial features are those of a place rather than those of a territory. In parallel to these States' attempts to recover some authority, new actors are taking an important role in global decision making processes. Examples are associations for the defence of fundamental rights or the Web corporate world. This return of traditional geopolitics and the growing power of civil society have been accompanied by the emergence of unprecedented regulation institutions at the moment of the creation of the Internet (ISoc, ICANN, W3C...). The Internet regulation is many-sided, which results in a democratic deficit, typical of the current period of globalization as depicted by Habermas: the scale of economic and societal actors no longer coinciding with the one of democratic legitimacy, still strongly linked with the scale of the Nation-State. We will show that this contradiction cannot be overcome without the invention of a new frame for the World political regulation: the World-Society.

Presented at:
AAG 2013 (Association of American Geographers), Los Angeles, Californie, USA, 11 avril 2013

 Record created 2013-05-21, last modified 2019-04-01

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